One of Malaysian hockey's unsung heroes, Sukhvinderjeet Singh, passed away after suffering a massive heart attack last night in Klang. He was only 51.
Sukhi, as he is fondly known amongst friends and the hockey fraternity, was an outstanding defender and last represented Malaysia in 1991. Though he was quiet and unassuming off the pitch, Sukhi was a no nonesense player on the pitch. He forged a strong partnership in defence ith Abdul Rahim Ahmad and was a delight to watch when they represented Selangor and MPK.
It was in the first Sukma, in Kuala Lumpur in 1986, that I met Sukhi. He was playing for Selangor against Penang and I was the match umpire. I sent him off (yellow card) but he never disputed the decision though he had a temper.
After that I met up with Sukhi in 1991 when he was with the Malaysian team that played against Great Britain in Cardiff ( a match Malaysia won through a penalty corner strike by K. Embaraj). Sukhi then became close with my brother in Cardiff, who passed away in 1998.
The man who coached Sukhi, C. Paramalingam was devastated with his death, having met Sukhi at the Klang Club yesterday evening.
"He grew up in my hands and today he has left without even a goodbye. I am truly shocked at his passing and its difficult to accept. He was a fine gentleman, a great personality and I shall miss him," said coach Param.
Note: Funeral details will be posted upon confirmation
STORY AS APPREARED IN THE MALAY MAIL
A nation's loss
Thursday, April 21st, 2011 10:58:00
KLANG: "A big loss to the nation".
Those were the words of former national coach C. Paramalingam as the hockey fraternity mourns the death of former Olympian Sukhvinderjeet Singh Kulwant Singh yesterday.
Sukhvinderjeet passed away due to a heart attack. He was 51.
"Sukhvinderjeet was a very nice man, a nice character to be with. It is such a terrible loss especially at such a young age," said Paramalingam.
"He has always been a very obliging man, on and off the field. He will surely be missed."
Sukvinderjeet, a former Setapak High School lad, rose to fame when he was spotted by Paramalingam to play for the Klang Municipal Council hockey team.
He then landed a job there but it didn’t stop him from representing Selangor and later the national team.
Sukhvinderjeet played under the watchful eyes of Paramalingam as the team played in the pre-Olympics in Europe followed by the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
Among his teammates then were Ow Soon Kooi, Yahya Atan, Sarjit Singh, Stephen Van Huizen and Zulkifli Abbas.